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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Middle Earth Festival (MEF) 7: Day 1

The day after our climb over the Caradhras pass dawned bleak and cold. It was still snowing outside our hut. By taking the Gondola down to Leukerbad we could at least leave the snow behind, however we were greeted by slight rain. A trip to the Burgerbad revived our senses and we were ready to tackle three days full of Middle Earth.

The Middle Earth Festival is mainly dedicated to Tolkien's books, yet also offers a lot of opportunities for fans of medieval times. There were dozens of workshops ranging from Archery over Dancing to Excursions. Additionally there was a small medieval market as well as several musicians around to create a fitting atmosphere. And once again the icing on the cake were the visitors, most dressed in medieval or fantasy garb and as always extremely friendly and happy.

My first workshop was a play of Jugger. That's a kind of Rugby played by two teams at six players each. Five of the players were armed with latex weapons with which the opposing players could be "frozen" for five seconds. The sixth player was unarmed and the only one allowed to touch the ball. His task was to drop the ball in the opponents goal. Our team was called "Böö" (Swiss German for "er"). Apart from having a huge amount of fun, we even managed to win the tournament!

Next up was my first medieval dancing workshop of this year and it was huge fun. The advantage of medieval dances is that (more often than not) the steps are quite simple and thus easy to learn and dance. So we managed to try out several different dances within this two-hour slot :).

At night it was finally time for the first concert. Die Streuner played a great selection of sometimes funny and sometimes saucy songs.

Finally our attention was caught by the birth of a dragon!

All the pictures of the first day.

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